Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The spice of life

Garam masala is a blend of ground spices common in the Indian cuisine, whose literal meaning is 'hot (or warm) spice'. There are many variants: most traditional mixes use just cinnamon, roasted cumin, cloves, nutmeg (and/or mace) and green cardamom seed or black cardamom pods.

My mother has been singing its praises for some time now, but last night I discovered for myself why she is addicted. I added a smidgen to some homemade chili right before serving it to the husband, and it took my dish to an entirely new dimension!

Here is the recipe for the spicy concoction, should you want to make it at home with ingredients already in your cabinet!

  • 4 tbsps coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 ½ tsps black cumin seeds (shahjeera)
  • 1 ½ tsps dry ginger
  • ¾ tsp black cardamom (3-4 large pods approx)
  • ¾ tsp cloves
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon (2 X 1” pieces)
  • ¾ tsp crushed bay leaves

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